Dads, do we deserve these honors?

Dads, do we deserve these honors?
By William L. Bulla

Every June there is a day set aside to celebrate fathers! But as a father, do I deserve it? What about you? Do you deserve the praise your children give you on this special day? Have, we Dads, lived a life that has set an example for our children? Have we been an approachable father? Today, June 20, is Father's Day. I, as many of you, am a father. On this day we will be remembered with cards, gifts and special meals. But do we really deserve these accolades? Have we really been the fathers we should have been?
Are we approachable fathers? Can our children come to us about anything? Have we made ourselves available to them? Shouldn't our children be able to come to us?
For many of you Fathers' Day is not easy. Some of you had bad relationships with your father. A few of you may not have known your father as you grew up, even if you lived with him. I was fortunate to know my father. In some of my earlier years, his work required him to be away from home for months every year. Those months when he was able to be home, we shared many hours of activities together.
For some of you this is a good day, with warm memories. For many others, this was not so. Statistically, only 2 to 3 out of a hundred men, when they were teenagers, spent more quality time with their fathers than with their mothers. Today's generation is one of under-fathered sons. And, many have abusive or violent fathers.
Where fathers are emotionally disengaged from their kids those children feel a deep emptiness within. And where Dads are cruel or abusive, the damage in the victim's lives is awful! Being a father isn't easy these days. But being a mother isn't easy either. In fact, being a kid isn't easy, or a teenager, or married, or single, or being middle-aged, or a senior. Life is difficult!
Have we been one of those Dads that did not give their all to their kids? Is it because we're now old that we sit back and accept cards and gifts because it's what our family expects the children to do? Or, do we receive these accolades from our children because we actually were good fathers and met their needs as they were growing up?
My children are never afraid to tell me that they love me, and I tell them every chance I get. I hope all you other dads are doing the same.
What a challenge this Father's Day is to all of us Dads. As we accept our children's love on this special day, let us ask God to make us worthy of their affection.

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.